This class covers thermal interface materials (TIMs), die attach pastes, ceramic substrates, heat spreaders, and cooling techniques in a variety of electronic and electrical applications.
By the end of this class, you will have learnt about various technology options for each of the material/layer/components mentioned above. You will also have learnt the key trends in multiple applications, developing detailed insights into how application and market trends are changing the requirements and technology choices.
Thermal Interface Materials
TIMs provide a critical function in many electronic and electrical systems, helping to improve overall heat dissipation from the device. This extends the lifetime and power handling capability of the device/system.
TIMs come in a variety of forms and performance levels. Here, we will cover all the key technologies including thermal grease, gels, preform pads, solder, phase change materials, and so on. The thermal fillers can also be different materials including alumina, boron nitride, carbon fibres, carbon nanotubes, graphene, and so on.
Indeed, numerous offerings exist. Each covers a different thermal conductivity level, different bond line thicknesses, different forms and processing technique, and so on. This diversity has come about because the application space is also very diverse.
In this class, we will cover all the key existing and emerging TIM technologies. In parts, we will also cover heat spreader technologies such as copper, copper composites, graphite, graphene and so on. We will also consider the needs and trends in various applications including consumer electronic devices such as mobile phones, telecommunication systems, data centres, automotive electronics, and so on.
By the end of this part of the class, you will have developed a detailed understanding of all the TIM technologies and how they benchmark. You will have also learnt about the application requirements, trends, technology choices, and so on.
Die Attach Pastes, Metallized Ceramic Substrates, Heat Spreaders and Cooling Techniques
In this section we will consider two key applications: power modules and high-power LEDs. By examining the trends in these two application areas, we will learn about various die attach paste, metallized ceramic substrate, heat spreader and cooling technologies.
Power modules are a key technology in electric vehicles as well as in many industrial machines and renewable systems. The long-standing trend is to increase the power density in the module. This means shrinking the die area whilst boosting its power handling capabilities. This trend is now accelerating as the transition towards SiC semiconductor technology, which tolerates higher operational temperatures, gathers pace.
The trend towards higher power densities will enable more integration between the power modules, control units and motors, leading to much more compact and efficient drive systems in numerous applications including electric vehicles.
This trend however will require modules that can operate at increasingly higher temperatures. This means that the module must better dissipate the heat and not become the main point of failure. As a consequence, the power module technology is changing at every level including interconnection, die/substrate attach, substrate material, cooling technology and so on.
More specifically, we will consider how the interconnection technology is evolving beyond Al wire bonding towards direct lead bonding, Cu bonding, or sintered metal pads. We will also consider how and why sintered metal die attach pastes as well as transient liquid phase bonding materials are replacing solder at the die and substrate attach layers. We will consider different sintered metal technologies such as pressured and pressure-less as well as different materials such as sintered silver (micron sized and nano) and copper.
We will also benchmark the different technology options for ceramic substrates and their metallization. Here, we will cover technologies such as copper/aluminium bonded/ brazed or thick film metallized ceramics (alumina, Si3N4, AlN, etc).
We will also consider how the cooling technology is evolving, enabling double sided cooling and enabling the removal of the TIM and/or baseplate layers. Indeed, we cover the transitions towards direct liquid cooling, jet impingement and micro-channel integration into the substrate.
Finally, in this class we will consider heat management in LED lighting. These devices are also increasing in power and shrinking in size, leading to higher power densities. As a result, the technology for heat management materials is evolving. This class we consider the latest trends, requirements and technology choices.